Northampton settlements can be dated back to 4000 BC where evidence of a circular earth work has been found at Briar Hill. Much of the wealth of the area came from the sale of the pottery around the Roman Empire after they had invaded.
The Saxons controlled the area from the time the Romans left (410 AD) till the Normans arrived in 1066.
The Normans were famous for their churches but they also created Northampton Castle which was likely built on a wooden Saxon stronghold and became a strong centre for trade and government. Rockingham Castle was built during the early part of this period with the new King William ordering the construction of this stronghold overlooking the Welland Valley.
The fortunes of Northamptonshire suffered into the Tudor era as King Henry VIII’s famous disagreement with Rome led to the dissolution of the Catholic Church in England. The monasteries, nunneries and friaries were all victims as the land and wealth was stripped from what was reported to be an innocent and mostly poor collection of religious houses. Northampton Castle was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1675